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Anderson Addresses Issue of Steroids

May 19, 2002|Bill Shaikin

CHICAGO — Garret Anderson won't name the fellow major leaguers who taunted him, but when Anderson hit a career-high 35 home runs two years ago, they weren't shy about asking him, "Are you on steroids?"

"It was just because I started hitting a lot of home runs," Anderson said. "I thought it was hilarious."

Jose Canseco raised the issue of steroid use Friday, claiming in a television interview that 85% of major leaguers used steroids and that "there would be no baseball left if they drug-tested everyone."

While players in the Angel clubhouse tended to laugh off the figure cited by Canseco, no one denied that some major leaguers do use steroids.

"It's in sports and not just ours, to some degree," Anderson said. "You see guys getting bigger and stronger very quickly."

That was the logic behind those opposing players taunting Anderson, though his home-run total had gradually increased from eight to 15 to 21 in the three years before he hit 35. Anderson said he focuses on diet, rest and proper workouts and does not even take nutritional supplements.

"I'm scared to take aspirin," he said.

The players' union has yet to embrace testing for steroids, concerned about privacy issues and about how a testing program might be expanded beyond steroids. Said one Angel: "It could be like the Olympics, where you can't drink a cup of coffee."

Still, a testing program would remove the cloud of suspicion that surrounds players who get better in a hurry.

"They could say he did it," Anderson said, "as opposed to wondering how he did it."


Gary DiSarcina, the Angels' opening day shortstop for nine consecutive seasons, played the first game of his career outside the Angel organization Friday. DiSarcina, 34, played second base for triple-A Pawtucket and doubled twice in three at-bats.

DiSarcina missed most of the last two seasons after shoulder surgery, and the Angels allowed him to leave as a free agent. He signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox, the team he grew up cheering for, but a broken finger in spring training delayed the start of his season. If he plays well, the Red Sox could promote him as a utility infielder.




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Update--In his past five starts, Washburn is 3-0 with a 2.78 earned-run average. Curt Schilling is the only major league pitcher with more victories than Buehrle.

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